Midwest researchers find wheat diseases can crossover to switchgrass

January 17, 2017 |

In Michigan, in the current issue of the Journal of Ecology, researchers from Michigan State University, University of Kansas and University of Virginia show that farmers and scientists need to think about how best to protect native plants from diseases emanating from crops.

“Crop fields were once considered tiny islands in a sea of wild vegetation, so farmers and scientists focused on protecting crops from wild pathogens,” said Carolyn Malmstrom, MSU plant biologist and co-lead author of the study. “Now, around the world, the situation has reversed, and diseases from agricultural fields affect not only crops, but also substantially harm native plants, such as switchgrass.”

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